I tend to be a pretty chill guy. I typically only raise my voice when I’m laughing. But once, when my wife and I were having a pretty big fight, she said some things that I took way too personally. I responded by yelling at the top of my lungs something I’d prefer not to type. You might be shocked to hear that things did not immediately improve after that. In fact, that was the clear sign that I had, in fact, lost the fight.
Of course, arguing with your wife isn’t about winning or losing. Yes, sometimes we need to disagree with our wives. We even need to fight from time to time. But the point of arguing with your wife is to understand and to be understood. Because this is true, when we employ certain methods, we always lose—even when we win. Here are the 3 best ways to lose an argument with your wife.The point of arguing with your wife is to understand and to be understood.
1. By Losing Your Temper
After yelling at my wife, she didn’t feel heard or loved. She felt attacked. She felt defensive. You won’t be surprised in the least to hear that it actually shut the conversation down. Losing my temper meant losing the argument. It’s nearly impossible to see your wife when all you see is red.
A far better response would’ve been to take a break, take a breath, and take a second stab at engaging the conversation when I had more perspective.
2. By Generalizing
When arguing with your wife, it’s pretty easy to generalize. Phrases like “you always” or “you never” are almost never accurate. Rather, they’re rhetorical devices meant to win the argument by the sheer volume of (often unsubstantiated) evidence. Few people are “always” or “never” anything. Even if the weight of your generalization shames your wife into backing down, you lose because you’re not really addressing the issue.
A far better approach is to be specific. What is the specific thing that your wife did or didn’t do that caused you to feel hurt or angry?
3. By Blaming
It’s almost universally true that when you are arguing with your wife, you (and I) believe she’s in the wrong. Otherwise, why would we be arguing? At the same time, we need to be careful not to assign exclusive blame to our wives. I’m not saying she’s innocent. But as the saying goes, it takes two to tango. When we simply point the finger at her, we miss out on all the ways we contributed to the problem, and even if we “win” the argument, we lose because we don’t grow.
A far better approach is to begin with self-examination. Assuming you are at least 50 percent of the problem, one way or the other, is a great starting place.
Sound off: What is another great way to lose an argument with your wife?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your wife and ask, “What do I do when we argue that makes it feel like we can’t make any progress?”